The Ultimate TV Show List: 50 Shows For 50 States

In this golden age of TV, there are so many TV shows to catch up on. There are so many, in fact, that there’s actually (at least) one set in every state! While some states have more than others (we’re looking at you, California and New York!), each series does a great job at showcasing its part of the US and all its charm and quirkiness.

Alexander Skarsgard, Kristin Bauer van Straten, and Patrick Gallagher posing next to each other in a creepy hallway / The cast of Friday Night Lights walking off of the football field in uniform with a cheerleader and the coach / Bill Paxton with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chrloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin standing in front of a room filled with Christmas lights / Bryan Cranston holding a bag full of cash and Aaron Paul standing in front of the back of a multi-car tow truck

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So, are you curious which show was set in your home state? Or are you curious to know where some of your favorite shows were set? Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy our list of TV shows set in each state.

Colorado: Community

The people at this community college are almost as laid back as any real-life Colorado native. Set at a community college in the fictional town of Greendale, Colorado, the series has an ensemble cast of some really hilarious actors. Honorable TV show mentions: Everwood, Make It or Break It The Ranch, and, of course, South Park.

Joel McHale, Fred Willard, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, and Jim Rash lying on the floor laughing with their heads together, forming a circle

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Fun fact: Community was actually based on creator Dan Harmon’s experience at a community college. In his early 30s, Harmon was already an established writer. Even so, he decided to take a Spanish class with his now ex-girlfriend. While the two didn’t end up together, Harmon had a positive experience with his study group, which gave him the idea to pitch Community to NBC.

Alabama: Hart of Dixie

The series stars actress Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New Yorker who accepts an offer to move to the fictional Gulf Coast town of Bluebell, Alabama, after her dreams of becoming a heart surgeon fall apart. The CW series premiered in September 2011 and ran until March 2015.

Rachel Bilson sitting across a patio table from Wilson Bethel in a scene from Hart of Dixie

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Fun fact: When an actress is expecting, we often hear about TV shows and films that cover up the bump. But this was not the case for Rachel Bilson. According to E! Online, Bilson was pregnant while filming the final series, which is why her character gave birth in the series finale. It’s cool that this was the reason why.

Kansas: Smallville

Just as the title suggests, this show focuses on that small-town lifestyle in which Clark Kent transformed from just a boy to Superman. The show was an instant hit, and with 8.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the pilot, Smallville went on to set a record for WB as the highest-rated series debut. Honorable TV Show mention: Supernatural.

A publicity still of Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Cassidy Freeman, Justin Hartley, and Samuel Witwer posing around an all white bar

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Fun fact: One of the most disappointing things about the show is the absence of DC comic’s biggest characters: Wonder Woman and Batman. But while the characters don’t show up onscreen, they were referred to by Chloe Sullivan. In the Season Ten episode, Fortune, she mentions “a wondrous woman” and “a billionaire with high-tech toys.”

Florida: The Golden Girls

Who says retirement isn’t a nonstop party? This show really captures the essence of the retiree lifestyle in Florida as these four older, but lively single women share a home in Miami. Not only did Golden Girls win countless awards, but each of the four stars won an Emmy Award, making it one of only four sitcoms to achieve this. Great job, ladies!

Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Betty White posing together at the 100th episode celebration

Photo by Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images

Fun fact: Some of the actresses worked together before filming Golden Girls. In fact, both Rue McClanahan and Betty White were on Mama’s Family. For those who don’t remember, Mama’s Family was a sitcom based on a sketch from The Carol Burnett Show. But when the show went on hiatus after only two seasons, McClanahan and White received their roles on The Golden Girls.

Alaska: Northern Exposure

The hit CBS show, Northern Exposure, is a comedy-drama television series about a group of eccentric residents living in a fictional small town in Alaska. Not only does the show feature the state in all its glory, but it takes the term “fish out of water” to a whole new level as a graduate from New York struggles to adapt to the lifestyle.

Janine Turner and Rob Marrow working on an airplane and having a deep discussion in a scene from Northern Exposure

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Fun fact: Northern Exposure was set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, but it was filmed in Roslyn, Washington. To pay homage to the shooting location, a character named Roslyn (along with Cicely) appeared on the show as the two founders of the fictional town. The show’s creators based Cicely on a small town about 80 miles north of Anchorage called Talkeetna.

Massachusetts: Dawson’s Creek

While Dawson’s Creek was actually shot in Wilmington, North Carolina (don’t you hate it when they do this?), the show still features various shots of Martha’s Vineyard in the show’s opening credits. Honorable TV show mention: Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, and Joshua Jackson posing together in the back of an old pick up truck

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Fun fact: The show generated large amounts of publicity before it premiered in January 1998. But many watchdogs, as well as TV critics, thought that the show’s anticipated “racy” dialogue and plots would be too much for a teen-audience. It was such a big controversy that one of the original production companies decided to walk away from the project.

Arizona: The Last Man on Earth

Nothing is more stressful than trying to survive the hot heat of Tucson, Arizona, especially if it’s the end of the world. This post-apocalyptic comedy series was created by Will Forte, who also coincidently stars in the show. As the name suggests, the show is about the last man on Earth (and some other survivors, of course) after a deadly virus wipes out the entire population.

Will Forte sitting at the head of a dinner table with Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman, and Mary Steenburgen sitting around him. Everyone is looking behind the view of the camera in shock

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Fun fact: Filming The Last Man on Earth was very challenging. No, it wasn’t because of the heat, although it gets pretty hot in the desert. It was because everytime they filmed a scene, sound production kept picking up the sound of cars driving by—which isn’t very post-apocalyptic like.

Ohio: Glee

At one point (during its second season, to be exact), Glee had such a dedicated fanbase that it was the most-watched TV series in the United States in 2011. That’s one heck of an accomplishment! Honorable mentions: Clarissa Explains It All and Greek.

The cast of Glee sitting on bleachers being blown to the side by Jane Lynch yelling into a microphone

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Fun fact: Even though Glee was a hit, there were some artists who didn’t let the show sing their songs. Slash, Foo Fighters, and Kings of Leon have all refused to have their songs featured, which caused some controversy. Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, was very critical of these refusals, which led to some exchanges between him and several artists in the press.

Louisiana: True Blood

New Orleans isn’t the only good thing about Louisiana! While True Blood takes place in the fictional town of Bon Temps, it makes sure to capture the essence of rural life while exploring all of the supernatural folklore that the state is famous for. Honorable TV show mention: The Originals.

Alexander Skarsgard, Kristin Bauer van Straten, and Patrick Gallagher posing next to each other in a creepy hallway

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Fun fact: While the show is about vampires, author Charlaine Harris says that vampires aren’t what she wanted to focus on. “I wanted to write about people who were interacting with vampires,” she told Vanity Fair. “I thought it would be fun to write about a woman dating a vampire, so I imagined what kind of woman would do such a stupid thing.”

Maine: Once Upon a Time

While Storybrooke is a fictional town, the show’s creators made sure to make it (almost) as magical as Maine itself. Not only does Once Upon a Time show off all the thick forests in the area, but the docks are a nod to the state’s world-famous seafood cuisine. Honorable TV show mention: Murder She Wrote.

Lana Parrilla picking up apples and placing them in a wicker basket while Jamie Dornan stand behind her explaining something in a garden

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Fun fact: Lady Gaga was actually offered the role of the Blue Fairy in the show. However, the series’ producers never heard back from her management team. Maybe she just didn’t have the time to commit to the series? The Blue Fairy sure does have a lot of screen time.

Arkansas: Evening Shade

Actor Burt Reynolds’ character may be a work of fiction, but Evening Shade, Arkansas, certainly isn’t. The series sure does a great job showcasing Even Shade’s small-town charm by filming bits and pieces of well-known locations in the area. The series aired on CBS from 1990 until 1994.

Burt Reynolds with his arm leaning on Ossie Davis sitting on the front porch

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Fun fact: The town of Evening Shade, which is located in the north east part of the state, was pretty proud of their representation on primetime television. During the show’s run, gift shops in the area would sell t-shirts, and other fun trinkets with the show’s logo plastered on them.

Connecticut: Gilmore Girls

This famous mother-daughter duo, who are notorious for drinking coffee and making pop culture references illustrate Connecticut’s nickname of “Land of Steady Habits.” While Gilmore Girls never drew in a huge audience, it was still a success for The WB, and during its fifth season, the show was the network’s second most popular TV series.

The cast of Gilmore Girls posing outside of Lorelai and Rory’s old white house

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Fun fact: Before being cast as Rory Gilmore, Alexis Bledel had never acted before! Her only role was as an uncredited extra in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. She was a college student at NYU and was modeling on the side to make some extra cash. But when auditions for Gilmore Girls rolled around, she decided to try her luck.

California: Beverly Hills, 90210

When it comes to TV shows based in California, Beverly Hills, 90210 is a classic. The show’s name was aptly titled as it is all about the lifestyles of teenagers in Beverly Hills as they go through high school, college, and eventually adulthood. Honorable mentions: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved by the Bell, and The OC.

The cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 play tug-a-war on the beach

Photo by Mikel Roberts / Sygma / Getty Images

Fun fact: Actress Shannen Doherty didn’t think she’d get cast because, according to the actress, she completely bombed her audition. “My audition was horrible,” she told The New York Times. “I actually remember walking out and saying: ‘I lost that job. I blew it.’” Well, apparently, the casting director thought otherwise.

Indiana: Parks and Recreation

Park and Recreation is hands-down our favorite TV series. Not only does the series feature some of television’s best actors, in our opinion, but the show’s writers did a great job at showcasing some of the best parts of Indiana, even though the show was set in the fictitious town of Pawnee.

The cast of Parks and Recreation posing around a cake celebrating the show’s premiere

Photo by Alexandra Wyman / WireImage / Getty Images

Fun fact: Parks and Recreation was pitched as a spinoff to The Office. NBC thought of a few concepts, including one where a copy machine breaks down in an episode of The Office and ends up in Pawnee, making the copy machine the spinoff character. Despite the originality of that idea, the show’s creators decided to create a show of their own.

Minnesota: Fargo

While not every season of Fargo takes place in Minnesota, the first season sure does the Land of 10,000 Lakes justice. Season One takes place in the real town of Bemidji, Minnesota, and focuses on how a drifter maned Malvo brings trouble to the area.

A behind the scenes photograph of the crew talking to Colin Hanks with Allison Tolman standing behind him

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Fun fact: The show kept a voice coach on set to make sure that the actors had a correct Minnesota accent. Actress Allison Tolman, who played Molly Solverson, told reporters that she based her accent on a Midwestern character from the ‘90s cartoon Bobby’s World.

Delaware: The Pretender

The Pretender really shows off the region as a child prodigy runs through the fictitious Blue Cove, Delaware, to find his birth parents. The action-drama series aired on NBC from 1996 until 2000 and was an instant hit with audiences.

Andrea Parker and Michael T Weiss running with a view of Delaware behind them

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Fun fact: When the show’s creators first showed the pilot epsode to NBC executives, they walked out after the first take. But when they began showing it to test audiences, it scored through the roof. Not only did the show score better than ER, but it had scored higher than any NBC pilot since Bonanza.

Texas: Friday Night Lights

We all know that everything is bigger in Texas, but Friday Night Lights does a great job honing in on all of the issues that come with living in a small town. The series is set in the fictional town of Dillon: a small but close-knit community in rural Texas. Honorable TV show mention: King of the Hill.

The cast of Friday Night Lights walking off of the football field in uniform with a cheerleader and the coach

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Fun fact: Friday Night Lights was inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H.G. Bissinger. But when the network was unable to get the rights to the book because the movie rights were sold first, they aired an unofficial adaptation called Against the Grain, starring Ben Affleck.

Hawaii: Hawaii Five-O

Yes, we’re talking about the original Hawaii Five-O here. The series shows that bad things can happen even in the most beautiful of places. Hawaii Five-O aired for 12 seasons from ’68 until ’80, and at the time of the last episode, the series was the longest-running police drama in U.S. TV history.

Jack Lord and James MacArthur posing in front of a wall of pill bottles in a scene from Hawaii Five-O

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Fun fact: Like his character, actor Jack Lord was also in the military. Lord served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built bridges in Iraq. He wasn’t the only one from the show that served in the military. Actor Steve McGarrett was a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Intelligence. Impressive!

Idaho: Wayward Pines

Nothing shows Idaho’s beautiful landscape quite like Wayward Pines. The CBS series follows a Secret Service agent who is out looking for his fellow agents in the small, real town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. While the series was a huge hit among fans, it was canceled after two seasons.

The cast of Wayward Pines posing eerily in the woods

Photo by FOX Image Collection / Getty Images

Fun fact: The series was initially supposed to be a limited series. However, Season One had such high ratings that CBS decided to bring it back for a second season, which was, unfortunately, disappointing. And even though it ended on a cliffhanger, Season Three never got the green light.

Nevada: Reno 911!

Reno 911! is a mockumentary-style parody that initially ran on Comedy Central from 2003 until 2009. Some of our favorite comedians show what it’s “really” like to take down bad guys in Nevada. Honorable TV show mentions Bonanza, Ponderosa, and State Trooper.

Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and Ben Garant at the Reno 911! Miami premiere in uniforms

Photo by Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images for The South Beach Comedy Festival

Fun fact: While most of the actors had a background in improv, Niecy Nash was new to this type of acting. Because of this, she worried that her lack of experience would cost her the audition. Luckily for us, she she got the part and was able to really develop her skills.

Oregon: Portlandia

Portlandia is a sketch comedy series set in and around Portland, Oregon, that takes a jab at the city’s reputation for attracting and breeding the country’s most eccentric hipsters. One thing’s for sure. The show does a great job at truly encompassing the state’s counterculture. Honorable TV show mentions Bates Motel and Grimm.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein posing in front of an old tiny farmhouse with a rake

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Fun Fact: Portlandia is more than just a play on the city’s name. As any true Oregonian knows, Portlandia is also the name of the statue located outside of the Portland Building downtown. You can catch a glimpse of the statue in the show’s opening credits.

New York: Sex and the City

No one knows how hard it is to date someone normal in the Big City better than Carrie Bradshaw and her best friends. Apparently, ‘90s New Yorkers don’t care for the series, but we love it, and it seems that so does the rest of the country.

The girls of Sex and the City gossiping while getting pedicures

Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The series was nominated for over 50 Emmy Awards during its six year run! Honorable mentions: Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Mad Med, Seinfeld, and Gossip Girl. Fun Fact: Carrie supposedly lived in a chic apartment on East 73rd Street, between Park and Madison Avenues, but that location is fictional.

Maryland: Joan of Arcadia

Joan of Arcadia really does encompass the saying, “big things come in small packages,” as a girl performs miracles in one of the smallest states in the country. The series was praised by critics when it was first released and received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series.

The cast of Joan of Arcadia joking around in a garage surrounded by tools

Photo by Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Fun fact: Amber Tamblyn isn’t just an actress. She also dabbles in writing and even has two books to prove it! Since her career as an actress took off, she has published two books of poetry and has been involved in several poetry readings all around California. Very cool!

Wisconsin: That ‘70s Show

Nothing screams 1970 suburbia quite like this group of teenagers who are “hangin’ out down the street.” Over the course of its run, That ‘70s Show was nominated for several awards, including 16 Emmy Awards! However, the show only walked away with one award in ’99 for best costume design.

The cast of That ‘70s Show posing in front of a red and yellow background

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Fun fact: Actress Mila Kunis’ first kiss was on the show, and it was with none other than her now-husband, Ashton Kutcher. How cute is that? Kunis also enjoyed a few other firsts on the show. Wilmer Valderrama taught her how to drive, while Danny Masterson bought Kunis her first drink.

Utah: Big Love

Long before Sister Wives first aired on TLC, fans were caught up in the drama on the HBO series Big Love. The TV drama series aired between 2006 and 2011 and followed a fundamentalist Mormon family that practices polygamy in contemporary Utah. Honorable TV show mentions: Touched by an Angel, and Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Bill Paxton with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chrloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin standing in front of a room filled with Christmas lights

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Fun fact: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has more than 15 million members, outlawed polygamy in 1890! Yet, between 50 to 100 thousand still practice polygamy today. When the show first premiered, the church asked HBO to put a disclaimer stating that this fictional family isn’t associated with the organization.

Missouri: Masters of Sex

Washington University serves as the Masters of Sex main setting as researchers work on exploring the idea of human sexuality (in their research subjects, as well as in their relationships). While the series was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2013 for Best Drama Series, it was canceled three years later.

The cast members of Masters of Sex posing around an office space

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Fun fact: Since the researchers were working on human sexuality, they had to watch a lot of people having sex (10,000 completed sex cycles, to be exact). This, of course, makes for great TV, but it also left many fans wondering if this was an exaggeration of what really went on during the study.

Pennsylvania: The Office

Who doesn’t love The Office? This NBC show follows a group of awkward office employees in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and all of the comical situations they get into. Honorable TV show mentions: How to Get Away With Murder and Pretty Little Liars.

The cast of The Office standing around Jim’s desk

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Fun fact: The thermostat on set had to be kept at a strict 64 degrees Fahrenheit. But why so cold? Well, according to actor Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight, it is because Steve Carell has active sweat glands that tended to ruin shots. So the entire cast had to suffer along with Steve. Hilarious!

Nebraska: The Young Riders

The Young Riders follows the life of a group of riders based who was based in Nebraska during the years before the Civil War. Some of these Pony Express risers were even inspired by legendary cowboys in American Old West history. Very Cool!

The cast of The Young Riders posing outside of a barn

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Fun Fact: Actor Stephen Baldwin played Buffalo Bill Cody on the show. But just because Baldwin knows how to ride a horse does not mean that he knows how to ride a bull. The actor appeared on the Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge on CMT, but he had to drop out after breaking his shoulder blade and rib after a bad fall.

South Carolina: Southern Charm

Sorry, South Carolina. There aren’t any good scripted TV shows that were set in your state. However, if you’re a fan of some good ole reality TV, then you’ll like this one. Bravo’s Southern Charm follows the life of seven socialites from Charleston, South Carolina.

A screen shot from the TV show Southern Charm with two guys and two girls sitting on fancy couches around a coffee table talking and laughing

Source: IMDb / Paul Cheney, Bravo TV

Fun fact: According to Fame 10, the show wasn’t supposed to be called Southern Charm. The original title was Southern Gentlemen, which is good, but not a great name for the show (since there are women, too). There’s something, well, charming about the name they ended up choosing.

Rhode Island: Family Guy

The award-winning animated sitcom is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. And while not everyone is a fan of the show, they seem to have an impressive following. Family guy has also received critical acclaim for its pop culture references, blue collar humor, satire, and silly storytelling.

The cast of Family Guy in an escape room having the rules explained to them in a scene from Family Guy

Photo by Fox via Getty Images

Fun fact: Actor Seth Green, who voices Chris, said Chris’ voice is based on Buffalo Bill from the 1991 film Silence of the Lambs. Green has mentioned this fact a few times on Conan, as well as in the commentary for Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. Interesting!

New Mexico: Breaking Bad

Who here hasn’t seen Breaking Bad? Not a lot of you, we hope. In case you’re unfamiliar with the series, we’ll fill you in. Break Bad tells the story of a chemistry teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who turns to a life of crime after being diagnosed with cancer. Honorable TV show mention: Roswell.

Bryan Cranston holding a bag full of cash and Aaron Paul standing in front of the back of a multi-car tow truck

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Fun fact: While nobody has gone “full Heisenberg,” there are a few teachers who turned to drug production in real life. In 2011, 74-year-old Irina Kristy was caught running a drug lab from her home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Michigan: Freaks and Geeks

After moving into a fictional Detroit suburb, Lindsay Weir and her younger brother Sam divide their friends into two groups: freaks and geeks. The series launched several actors’ careers, including Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jason Segel, and Busy Philips. Honorable TV show mentions Home Improvement and Sister, Sister.

The cast of Freaks and Geeks posing together in the bleechers

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Fun fact: one of the reasons for the show’s early cancellation was its inability to gain a strong fanbase. This was mainly due to its “erratic scheduling” and bad time slots, as well as a competing show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Kentucky: Justified

Based on writer Elmore Leonard’s short story, Fire in the Hole, the TV series does a great job at bringing the Wild West to life. The pilot, which aired in 2010, was watched by a whopping 4.2 million viewers. This was the most-watched debut for FX since The Shield premiered in 2002.

Timothy Olyphant, Walter Goggins, and Jim Beaver in the sherriff’s office in a scene from Justified

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Fun fact: The show’s writer, Graham Yost, began his Hollywood writing career on the Nickelodeon series Hey Dude. “It was very low-budget,” Yost told reporters in 2013. “The budget was a challenge, but the big challenge was just that we weren’t necessarily the best writers; we all became better.”

Tennessee: Nashville

While the characters are fictitious, Nashville and all of its drama sure isn’t. This hit NBC show does a great job at showcasing the lives of artists trying to make it big in Nashville, Tennessee. The show chronicles the life of Rayna Jaymes, a legendary country superstar whose stardom had begun to fade.

Hayden Panettiere and Charles Esten recording together in a studio in a scene from Nashville

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Fun fact: Surprisingly enough, the actors from Nashville typically didn’t know their characters’ story lines until they begin filming the episode. This helps them stay “in the moment,” according to actor Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne.

New Jersey: The Sopranos

Nothing screams Jersey more than The Sopranos. This classic HBO series follows an Italian-American mobster who has a hard time balancing his family and criminal life. According to several critics, the series is considered “the greatest and most groundbreaking television series of all time.” Honorable TV show mentions Boardwalk Empire and Empire.

James Gandolfini, Tony Sirico, and Steven Van Zandt posing in an office wearing suits

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Fun fact: Before creator David Chase developed Tony Soprano’s story for TV, he actually pitched it as a movie, but the premise was a tiny bit different. The film was supposed to be about a mobster who goes to therapy because he has problems with his mother.

Washington: Grey’s Anatomy

With some amazing TV shows to choose from, we ultimately had to go with Grey’s Anatomy for this one. The show is the longest-running scripted show currently airing on ABC. As of 2019, the show was the longest-running medical drama series. Talk about an accomplishment! Honorable TV show mentions Twin Peaks and Frasier.

Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Katherine Heigl, and Sandra Oh standing by the nurses station in scrubs

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Fun fact: Shonda Rhimes almost set Grey’s Anatomy in her hometown of Chicago, instead of in Seattle. However, she decided against it last minute because she didn’t want her show to feel too much like ER (which is also set in the Windy City).

Georgia: The Walking Dead

While the second half of Season Five takes place in Alexandria, Virginia, the rest of the show takes place in the beautiful (well, when it’s not covered with zombies and blood) countryside of Atlanta, Georgia. Honorable TV show mention: The Dukes of Hazzard.

Josh McDermitt, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Austin Amerlio posing together outside of a warehouse

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Fun fact: As a show that likes to kill off its main characters quite regularly, The Walking Dead started its own tradition, which is quite cute, actually. Each time a character bites the dust, the entire cast and crew hold Death Dinners to properly say goodbye. As the show became more popular, they would tell the wait staff that these were birthday parties, so spoilers wouldn’t be leaked!

North Carolina: One Tree Hill

This popular teen drama follows the lives of two half-brothers with a competitive streak as they battle it out for positions on their high school’s basketball team. Not only was One Tree Hill actually shot in North Carolina (which is often not the case), but the characters often make references to the state’s college basketball teams.

Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Hilarie Burton posing in front of a brick wall

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Fun fact: One Tree Hill was originally set to take place in Illinois. However, The WB was unhappy with that decision. Why? Because they wanted it to be set in a warmer climate. Fair enough. So the creators chose North Carolina, and the rest is history.

South Dakota: Deadwood

Set in the 1870s, this popular HBO series is about a group of people living in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after it was annexed by the United States. While the series only lasted for three seasons between 2004 and 2006, it is often regarded as “one of the greatest television shows of all time.”

Brian Cox and Cythia Ettinger getting out of a carriage in an old western setting

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Fun fact: While the show takes place in North Dakota, it was actually filmed on sets of Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita Valley, California. Sound familiar? Well, that’s where Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Django Unchained, among several others, were filmed.

Illinois: ER

Before Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane stole our hearts as McDreamy and McSteamy, we had our eyes set on George Clooney as Doug Ross. Yes, there are several shows to choose from, nothing quite illustrates the hustle and bustle of the Windy City quite like ER. Honorable TV show mentions: Family Matters, Roseanne, and Chicago Fire.

The cast of ER standing in the hospital hallway

Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Fun fact: When ER first came out, Clooney was already a television veteran, but he had yet to find his breakout role. “George Clooney begged me for a part,” executive producer John Wells later told reporters. “George showed up and wouldn’t leave until I’d let him audition … George got his hands on the material and was like a dog with a bone.”

Vermont: Newhart

Newhart is a show that ran from ’82 to ’90 that takes place in a small, rural town in Vermont. Let us just tell you, there may not be a lot of people in Vermont, but Bob Newhart’s character sure does run into a bunch of eccentric people.

The cast of Newhart posing in front of a white background

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Fun fact: Bob Newhart came up with the idea for the show while he was eating dinner at the Hilton hotel in Seattle, Washington. After spending some time people watching, he realized that hotel guests are a little odd, which makes for great television.

Virginia: The Vampire Diaries

You know what they say: Virginia is for lovers. Well, that’s true for the Salvatore brothers, who fell in love with the same girl not once but twice! Besides serving up some great teen drama, The Vampire Diaries also makes some great nods to the surrounding area as the characters tend to find themselves in sticky situations.

Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev starring into the distance in a coffin warehouse

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Honorable TV show mentions: Quantico and Homeland. Fun fact: According to actress Nina Dobrev, the show’s producers really wanted singer songwriter Taylor Swift to make an appearance on the show after hearing she was a huge fan. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out schedule-wise.

Iowa: Apple’s Way

After becoming fed up with the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, a man moves his family to his father’s hometown in Appleton, Iowa, to begin a new life. Because let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to raise their kids in one of the safest states in America?

The cast of Apple’s Way holding food around the Thanksgiving table

Source: Pinterest

Fun fact: Apple’s Way, unfortunately, didn’t gain the rating that CBS had planned on. The show’s creators decided to “reboot” its second season and focused more on issues such as drug use and terminal illness instead of rural issues. Even that didn’t work, and the series was canceled during Season Two.

Montana: Buckskin

Sorry, Montana. There aren’t any recent TV shows shot in your beautiful state. It’s a shame really. There is one, however, called Buckskin. It was a Western TV series, starring Sally Brophy, Tom Nolan, and Mike Road. The series ran on NBC from 1958 until 1959.

Tommy Nolan and Sally Brophy posing together near a wooden fence

Source: Pinterest

Fun facts: Seeing that the show ran so long ago, there aren’t any fun facts. However, word on the street says that a new series called Big Sky is set to premiere. It’s a drama series that follows private detectives as they investigate a kidnapping that occurred on a remote highway in Montana.

West Virginia: Hawkins

The same goes for you, West Virginia. But we did happen to uncover a 1970s show about a lawyer named Billy Jim Hawkins who investigates cases that he was involved in. Despite the fact that Hawkins won a Golden Globe Award, it was canceled after just one season.

James Stewart as Billy Jim Hawkins sitting in a blurred out room in a suit

Source: YouTube

Fun fact: The series starred actor James Stewart, who had previously worked on the hit movie, Anatomy of Murder, which premiered in 1959. The plot of the film was very similar to Hawkins, so the show’s creators must have thought that Hawkins was a for sure hit. It turns out it wasn’t.

Mississippi: In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night is an American crime drama TV series that is loosely based on the 1965 novel and the 1967 film of the same name. Not only does the series feature some great scenery shots of the region, but it also deals with Mississippi’s deeply rooted social issues.

Carroll O’Connor and Howard Rollins as a Police officer and a lawyer in the tv series

Source: MoviestillsDB.com / Copyright: NBC

Fun fact: The defamed O.J. Simpson was almost cast as Tibbs. “Fred Silverman thought O.J. was pretty good, very good in fact,” Carroll O’Conner later told reporters. “But I wanted Howard from the start.” However, Simpson still made it to the screen with his appearance in Season Two.

Oklahoma: Saving Grace

When an Oklahoma City detective finds herself hitting rock bottom, an angel named Earl helps her turn her life around. The series’ creator, Nancy Miller, grew up in Oklahoma City, and it was important for her to pay homage to her roots. However, the series was filmed mostly in Los Angeles and Vancouver…

The cast of Saving Grace posing on an abandoned road at night

Source: IMDb / TNT

Fun fact: That being said, most of Miller’s characters’ last names were taken from Oklahoma towns and cities. For example, Hanadarko is derived from Anadarko. Also, names like Clay Norman, Butch Ada, Bobby Stillwater, Ham Dewey, and Captain Perry all have last names that should ring a bell.

New Hampshire: North Woods Law

New Hampshire is another one of those states that doesn’t have a good scripted TV show. However, not to fret. There is a reality show called North Woods Law that airs on the Animal Planet Chanel. The show focused on Maine for the first few seasons.

Two park rangers in uniform looking serious in the woods

Source: IMDb

But then, in 2017, the show decided to relocate to New Hampshire! How exciting! North Woods Law follows members of New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department. Luckily for its fans, the series just began its 15th season October 2020! Who knew the Fish and Game department made for interesting television?

Wyoming: Longmire

Longmire is about a Wyoming country sheriff who returns to work after his wife’s death. He works to fight crime and also campaign for reelection. Beside showcasing the state’s most beautiful prairies, the series also has many shots of various Native American reservations in the state.

A Martinez and Robert Taylor walking around a casino in a scene from Longmire

Source: MoviestillsDB.com / Copyright: A&E TV

Fun fact: Longmire takes place in the fictional Absaroka County, but that’s not the only thing that’s fictious about this series. In fact, many of the scenes weren’t actually filmed in Wyoming at all! Instead, the show’s producers decided to shoot on location in New Mexico or Las Vegas. What a shame.

North Dakota: Blood & Oil

Blood & Oil is a primetime soap opera that first premiered on ABC in 2015. The series takes place in the fictional Rock Springs, North Dakota, and follows a young couple who relocate there after the biggest oil discoveries in America. Hmm… this actually sounds interesting.

Two doctors in labcoats and one in jeans standing by a nurses station in a scene from Blood and Oil

Source: MoviestillsDB.com / Copyright: ABC

Well, I guess the premise is way more interesting than the actual show. Unfortunately, Blood & Oil received only subpar reviews from critics. Many compared the series to Dallas. It seems that fans agree with the critics on this one. On the popular review site Rotten Tomatoes, the series only received a rating of 62%.